Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!

No, it’s not canned meat. It’s also not a silly word to yell at your friends. My experiences with spam (the virtual kind, not the weird meat product in a can that kind of tastes like bologna gone wrong) are fairly interesting. The first time I ever used the internet, I became a victim of spam. I was about 8, and just playing around on my mom’s new computer (that I could operate better than her already) when HELLO GLITTERY FUN TIME TOYS!!!!!!!!!! I clicked on an ad, and my mother was infuriated! I caught a virus for her (she let me on before she had installed ANY virus protection, or internet protection, or anything really.) And so began my grounded time (about a week, which at 8, was forever.) I learned my lesson though, and never clicked on a flashing, exciting ad ever again… In front of my mom. Those things are MADE for little kids, so telling you I never did it again is probably the dumbest lie I can think of. Another memorable, and disturbing time, was when my mom’s computer (see a pattern?) was taken over by some kind of ridiculous pop up game. No matter how many times you closed the ad “Wanna play bingo with local singles???” it came right back! It was the most irritating time of my life trying to write a paper for my sophomore english class! Until, in my vast genius of technology, I UNPLUGGED the internet (my mom immediately said “ooooo how do you do that?”) and made it go away, then invited our computer-savvy neighbors to come have a look, and teach me how to wipe the computer so that we wouldn’t have that issue again. Of course, someone had to have gotten that on the computer at some point, right? Well, Mr. Nobody must have done it, because no one knew how, or when the virus appeared, it was just there. I still blame my sister, who in turn blames me, and my mom blames the cat, who blames the dog, etc. It’s not like you click on something, and think, could this be a virus? A scam? Some kind of spam? Because if you did that, you could never spend any time online doing anything else! It’s like driving down the road always thinking that something scary will pop up!

But maybe we should be driving down the road, always thinking about what might be around the next corner. It’s not the easiest way to live, but it is probably necessary to do this while surfing the internet too. You never really know what allowing some “bad guy” access is really going to do to you, your life, your family, or even just your computer. Make sure you trust something before you click it, and protect yourself as best as you possibly can.

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